The Oklahoma Panhandle State University baseball team notched their first win of the season Friday afternoon at home in the first game of a doubleheader against McMurry University, blanking the War Hawks 8-0.
Alan Scott threw a complete game shutout, giving up only four hits and striking out four as the Aggies played like a well-oiled machine, finally getting past the fielding and mental errors that have pestered them all season. The men started the scoring in the third inning when lead-off Payton Osbon singled, stole second and then scored when Jordan Bernal singled.
Casey Kettler smacked a one-out double to get Bernal home and then Nick Crosswhite singled to put Kettler on third. Alfonso Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to score Kettler for the 3-0 Aggie lead. OPSU had a huge fifth inning, scoring five runs as Bernal hit a lead-off double and got safely home when Kettler singled. Crosswhite singled, sending Kettler to second, and after a pitching change, Gonzalez hit a double that scored Kettler. Ruben Aguirre and Robert Montoya both walked and Crosswhite walked home.
Gonzalez scored when Bo Ybarra flied out to right field, and Aguirre scored off a sacrifice fly from Osbon.
For the game, Kettler and Bernal were both 3-4 at the plate and Kettler and Gonzalez both had two RBIs while Bernal, Ybarra, and Osbon had one each. The win was a fitting tribute for Kasey Higgins, their teammate who passed away in October following a car accident near Texhoma.
The Higgins family attended the game and was honored on the field after the win.
The Aggies got on the board first in the fourth inning of game two when third-base runner Trey Wooten scored on a passed ball. McMurry scored the tying run in the fifth and went on to score three more in the eighth for a 4-1 lead. OPSU only managed a single run in in the ninth when Osbon batted in Montoya and took the 4-2 loss.
"It's nice to finally get this monkey off our backs," said head coach Steve Appel. "We beat a good McMurry team and finally clicked on all cylinders. We played good baseball today. Despite our struggles this year, our goal is to continue to improve every time we play. I continue to believe in the guys we have inside our clubhouse and believe they can turn things around in the second half of the season."